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  • Writer's pictureRae Story

Lost Footpaths

When public footpaths were mapped during the 1950s, many old rights of way were not included. Did you know that now, the government has set a deadline of 1st January 2026 for any older paths to be registered as public footpaths.

Organisation The Ramblers are involved and are encouraging us to register older footpaths that may be lost forever. According to their website, in the Manchester area there are over 62 miles of lost pathways. If you sign up on their website you can access the full map and maybe get involved in their campaign. The photograph below was taken by Alison Kershaw at Dovestones Reservoir in Saddleworth - very much not a lost footpath, but nevertheless the images seemed to illustrate the topic quite well.

This made also me think of a friend, the artist Leah Gordon, who has an interesting project with Annabel Stacey "Enclosure" on a related theme, that project is an exploration of the remaining "common lands" and how some people still make their living from working remaining waste or common land that have escaped being eaten up by the enclosure acts from 1773 and subsequent land grabs. Leah has photographed these rare people and created a set of beautiful portraits.

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